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Polish oil slick may reach Baltic Sea by Sat.

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An oil slick which has formed on Poland's Wisla River after damage to an oil pipeline could reach the Baltic Sea by the weekend, a high-placed official from Russia's environmental watchdog said on Monday.
KALININGRAD/MOSCOW, December 17 (RIA Novosti) - An oil slick which has formed on Poland's Wisla River after damage to an oil pipeline could reach the Baltic Sea by the weekend, a high-placed official from Russia's environmental watchdog said on Monday.

On Sunday, as a result of damage at the Plock-Nowa Wies Wielka oil pipeline, tons of oil leaked into the Wisla River and a giant oil slick several kilometers in diameter is currently moving along the river towards the Baltic Sea.

"According to my information, it will take five or six days for the oil slick to reach the Baltic Sea," Oleg Mitvol, a deputy head of Rosprirodnadzor agency, said, adding that the agency still did not know the exact amount of oil involved in the spill.

He said that he hoped his Polish colleagues would do everything possible to prevent the pollution of the Baltic Sea, and that the agency was monitoring the situation.

Alexander Polonsky, a spokesman for the emergencies ministry of the Kaliningrad Region, a Russian enclave on the Baltic Sea neighboring on Poland, said in turn that Poland had so far refused to provide Russia with the exact figures for the oil slick currently threatening the Baltic Sea. He denied that Poland had earlier sent a letter describing in detail the scale of the incident.

"Poland remains silent and we have no detailed information at all," he said. "They [the Poles] say that a lot of oil products were spilled, but how much is that exactly?"

However, he added that according to data from the regional emergencies ministry, chances were small that the oil slick would reach the Kaliningrad Region and pollute the Baltic Sea.

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